In the three months since I last wrote anything here, the world has changed. And while nothing good has or will come of the putsch that threatens our democracy and makes the world a more fragile place, the focus of this piece is on Los Angeles rather than on the decline of American civilization. After all, all politics is local and only if we are strong and smart and united will we successfully defeat the senseless hate that is currently emanating from Washington.
On March 7th, when Los Angeles voters go to the polls we get the chance to reelect a proven, caring, hard-working and smart mayor and public servant named Eric Garcetti. In March, Angelenos should also vote No on S, rejecting a misguided effort to turn back the clock on L.A.'s sprint toward sensible, transit-oriented development, and Yes on H, showing that we care about the tens of thousands of homeless who have nowhere to live but on our streets.
Given the tangible ways in which life in Los Angeles has improved for most Angelenos on Eric's watch, I am optimistic that voters will do the right thing in March.
Eric Garcetti has earned our support for a second term through his tireless, thoughtful advocacy of a vision of Los Angeles as an inclusive city that strives to serve all of its residents. Working with the City Council and the County Board of Supervisors, Mayor Garcetti has been a champion of action on our affordable housing and homeless crises, a national leader in the sanctuary cities movement, and an advocate for doing away with needless bureaucracy so that it is easier for businesses to start up or relocate here, and expand. A self-proclaimed tech geek, Mayor Garcetti has pushed the City to invest in technology and tapped experienced urban planning, business and philanthropic leaders like Bloomberg Associates, to help us troubleshoot, fix and improve difficult governance challenges like sidewalk repair and street services.
With Eric in office, Los Angeles has become a more sustainable city that is taking action to reduce its carbon footprint and is committed to renewable energy, stormwater capture and to creating a welcoming L.A. River with open space for all. He has helped coax Angelenos out of their cars with his full-throated endorsement of a more transit-oriented Los Angeles with pedestrian and biking improvements that make that first mile/last mile trip to the train station or bus stop less onerous. The opening of Phase 2 of the Expo Line has happened while Eric has been in office and before we know it the Crenshaw Line will be whisking travelers from downtown L.A. to Leimert Park and LAX. The Mayor's fierce support for Measure M gets two thumbs up from this transit rider, biker and pedestrian.
Before the November election, the Mayor was everywhere in the County, not just the City, patiently explaining why Measure M is the gift that keeps on giving when it comes to making Los Angeles the public transportation mecca that its climate, and traffic, confirm it must be.
Bike share in downtown L.A., a construction boom, thriving walkable and bikeable neighborhoods like the Historic Core and Arts District, an improving LAX, a cleaner port and a livable wage are changes that have happened and will continue to happen with Mayor Garcetti at the helm. He has helped poorer parts of Los Angeles with new pocket parks and street tree planting and has brought back to the table community organizations, charitable foundations and business leaders who had previously lost faith in government. Are we done? Of course not, but Mayor Garcetti is the best choice for the hard work that lies ahead.
Los Angeles wins with Mayor Garcetti because he is a leader who does his homework when confronting a challenge or pursuing an opportunity. Be it on trade missions to Asia or Latin America or visiting neighborhoods around the city where he addresses the crowd in English and Spanish, Eric Garcetti does so with a smile and with a command of the issues that comes from having done the heavy lifting to understand what he is talking about. Where others scowl and insult their constituents, and adversaries, Mayor Garcetti makes people feel like he is listening and cares about their concerns because in fact he does.
For all of these reasons, I will be voting again for Eric Garcetti in March. And I will also be voting Yes on H to help the homeless and No on S, which would put the kibosh on our sensible transit-oriented growth and development.
L.A. deserves Mayor Eric Garcetti. Join me in voting for him on March 7th!
Yours in transit,